It’s time, dear readers, for you to read about one of my pet peeves.
I was meandering around Facebook today when a certain eco-friendly eco-education eco-resource page that I ‘like’ happened to post this picture with the caption: Communities protesting power giants in India.
Naturally, because I am me, I looked at that image with a fair amount of scepticism. I immediately responded to the image with a series of questions:
1) Where was this image taken?
2) When was it taken?
3) What ‘power giants’ are they protesting?
4) Can you give me a source for this image please?
At the time of writing this blog post, the page owner has not yet replied to my comment. The image could have been taken anywhere. If you know anything about India, you’d know how diverse and enormous it is. I have no clue as to where that may have been taken. Secondly, was it taken two months ago? Five years ago? Is it set ten years in the future? Is it real? Is it part of a movie set? I – do – not – know.
Besides, this is India. We have power giants? WHERE? I mean, okay, the Kudankulam Power Project is in the works, and will hopefully be completed at some stage. Yes, I did say hopefully. I’m as much a sustainable energy supporter as anyone else, but I’m also hugely practical. For people to just say ‘Abandon Kudankulam and focus solely on sustainable energy’ is a tad – well, sorry – stupid. The amount of money that’s been sunk into Kudankulam – tax payer’s money, in fact – is ridiculously enormous. Besides, these things are almost always led up to. Sure, some countries may have made the switch to sustainable energy without going nuclear, but India is not one of those countries. India is a country that is just waking up to its green options. If you know anything else about India, you know this: Indians can’t be hurried or bullied into anything. We take our time. We understand things. And when we do embrace a concept, we really embrace it. Nothing can come in our way.
Besides Kudankulam, there are twenty other nuclear power plants producing energy in India, but my attention is more or less focused on Kudankulam because it is located in Tamil Nadu, the state in which I happen to reside, and because if it is completed (it ought to have been completed but no, democracy had to have a say) it will hugely impact my quality of life. Because Tamil Nadu is reeling from a massive lack of power, and this is more pronounced during the summer months. Don’t ask me why this is the case – it just is. Apart from the mandatory power outage we suffer for two hours (from 2 pm to 4 pm in my locality), we also have a number of surprise power outages during the day. As I typed that the mercury just shot up by two more degrees. And if you think I’m whinging now, just wait until May. May is when the fiery rays of the sun hit this side of Chennai with a passion, and it burns everything to a crisp. I can never seem to get cool enough during the day, even inside my house with its high ceilings and several electric fans. I limit my use of the air conditioner to the nights, so that I can sleep in peace.
So, for people to be protesting power giants in India is a bit of a puzzle. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if those people are protesting a LACK of power giants. Perhaps they’re angry at their local government for making them stew in the heat. Perhaps they’re protesting the fact that their train lines aren’t running. Perhaps they aren’t protesting at all. Maybe, just maybe, they’re resting.
I followed the photo to its source (the page owner had shared it from another page), and lo and behold, there was still no source, not even by the original poster. This irked me hugely. I glanced down the comments by people and saw that there was a smattering of trolls (talking about the blood and guts of the people who would inevitably get squashed under a train), racists (talking about the people dying so that they would, at the very least, not visit the USA), and scaremongers (talking about how terrifying large power giants were, and of course, someone did mention Japan). Again, the comment asking for a source for this picture was ignored.
I refuse to accept something at face value just because you say something is what it is. If you want me to believe you, give me a damn source. If you don’t provide a source, I’m going to ask for one. And if you ignore me, I’m going to treat your post with the contempt that it deserves, especially when you have no idea what the flip you’re talking about.
Edit: After a good deal of research, a friend found that this image isn’t linked to communities resisting power giants in India at all. Ha. Excuse me while I snort in derision.